Goldsmiths pro-Palestine encampment ends after five weeks as uni accepts protestors’ demands

The uni agreed to call for a ceasefire, provide scholarships to Palestinians and reconsider its definition of antisemitism

Goldsmiths management has agreed to the demands made by the student group Goldsmiths for Palestine, which had been protesting the university’s stance on the situation in Israel and Gaza.

The students had been occupying the Professor Stuart Hall building for five weeks and had recently expanded their occupation to a library.

University management agreed to a range of demands including providing scholarships for Palestinian students, releasing a statement calling for a ceasefire and reviewing their adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

In a statement on its website, the uni announced it will work with the Students’ Union and Goldsmiths for Palestine “to meet a set of commitments” which it will deliver “to the best of their ability, supported by colleagues across the College.”

Goldsmiths for Palestine celebrated the concessions on social media. It wrote: “After six months of protest, five weeks of occupation and a flash encampment in the library, management has conceded to our demands for Palestine.”

The group also noted that the university’s agreement to offer a scholarship designated for undergraduate Palestinian students would constitute the first of its kind in Britain.

In addition to these measures, the university has also agreed to review its investment policy, which had been criticised by protesters for banking with institutions complicit in Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

Goldsmiths management said that its ethical investment policy will be “reviewed and revised” with the possibility of “switching to an alternative fund manager”.

In another concession, the university has also agreed to rename a lecture theatre to commemorate Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist who was killed by an Israeli soldier in 2022. 

The renamed room will be on the lower ground floor of the Professor Stuart Hall building where the occupation took place, according to the university. 

Lina Abu Akleh, Shireen’s niece, thanked protesters on X and praising their victory over the university.

Members of pro-Palestine protest groups at other London universities have been observing the events at Goldsmiths closely.

On X, UCL Action for Palestine hailed the concessions made by Goldsmiths management.

It celebrated the “absolutely amazing wins at Goldsmiths” and wrote that concessions at UCL “are next”.

Despite their nominal success, Goldsmiths for Palestine is continuing to use protests to pressure the university to follow through with its pledges. The group organised a demonstration today calling on management to uphold its commitments.

Featured image via Instagram @goldsmithsforpalestine

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